EBOM-2009 IEQc3.2: Green Cleaning—Custodial Effectiveness Assessment

  • EBOM_IEQc3-2_Type3_Audit Diagram
  • Easy credit for clean buildings

    If your cleaning staff already keeps your building relatively clean, this credit—and the associated exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point—should be easy to achieve. If performed professionally and objectively, the audit can help you evaluate the quality of your cleaning services and highlight areas of the building that present particular cleaning challenges.

    The truth is worth more than a “good” score

    This credit might initially strike your project team as an odd one, since it gives you the option of training in-house staff members to perform the audit without third-party oversight. To make sure you get the most out of your audit, however, make sure it is conducted objectively. It’s more valuable to your project to learn the truth about the quality of service delivered by your janitorial provider—whether that service is good or bad.

    There are a few challenges

    It can be difficult to maintain objectivity and assign numerical scores to something as seemingly subjective as cleanliness. The credit and APPA protocol provide a fairly objective framework for evaluating cleanliness, however, so you’ll have plenty of support to work with.

    Determining how many rooms and how much square footage needs to be audited can also be a challenge.

    Consider these questions when approaching this credit

    • Do you have the time to perform the audit in-house? Keep in mind that this requires training two in-house staff members, carving out time for both of them to conduct the audit, and compiling and calculating the results. (You must audit 10% of the floor area, and 10% of the number of rooms of each space type, or five examples of each space type—whichever is greater. APPA suggests a time commitment of ten minutes per room.)
    • If you don’t have the time to designate two staff members to conduct the audit, do you have the room in your budget to hire an auditor? Remember, you need only one outside contractor to conduct the audit, not two. Competent providers of comprehensive green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. services make very good third-party auditors.
    • Does your facility have a wide variety of space types? If so, the audit will be more complex, and you should expect to spend extra time and money to complete it.

    LEED-EBOM iEQc3.2 FAQs

    When should we conduct the audit?

    The audit must occur during a period of normal operations when occupant loads and building activities reflect normal levels and patterns (the holidays would be a bad time, for example). The audit can be performed at any time during the day or night: it doesn’t have to be within normal business hours.

    How many times can we conduct an APPA audit? We want to use the results of our first audit to improve housekeeping practices and then perform a second audit to see if we’re closer to reaching our desired level of cleanliness.

    There’s no restriction to the number of audits you can perform. A preliminary audit is a great way to collect information and notify custodial and facilities staff of the building’s cleanliness before certification application. Just be sure to submit an audit that falls within the performance period for your LEED application.

    How frequently do we have to conduct an APPA audit?

    A cleaning audit based on APPA guidelines should be conducted for your building interior at least once annually.

    Isn’t the APPA audit just for educational facilities?

    While the APPA guidelines were developed for educational facilities they still can be applied to a variety of building types. All projects pursuing this LEED credit, regardless of building type, must use the APPA guidelines.

    The LEED Reference Guide requires a post-audit quality control process if two in-house staff conduct the audit. What should that entail?

    The best way to quality control your audit is to have a third person trained in APPA protocol get involved. Have this person review the audit procedure and spot check a percentage of the audited spaces to ensure that the findings are appropriate and impartial.

    I have multiple tenants in my building. Do I need to audit 10% of each space type in each tenant area?

    No, perform the audit based on 10% of the total number of each space type within the entire building, regardless of which tenant occupies which space.

    In our multi-tenant building there are many spaces that are currently vacant or mid-fit-out. Should those spaces be included in the audit?

    No, only audit spaces that are cleaned on a regular basis. Remember that if occupancy is below 50% during the performance period an audit cannot be conducted during that time.

    We plan on training two in-house staff to conduct the audit. Do we have to purchase a copy of the APPA Custodial Staffing Guidelines?

    You’re not required to purchase the guidelines, but it is worth considering if you plan on using in-house staff to conduct the audit. Training can consist of reading through the APPA guidelines, learning the benefits of honest audit results (such as pinpointing opportunities for improvement), and reviewing the forms. It’s up to your team to decide if the information available publicly is adequate for your team to conduct an audit.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Before the Performance Period

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  • Decide who will conduct the audit. You may choose one of the following paths: 

    • Hire an outside auditor, such as a competent cleaning services provider, who is not currently responsible for cleaning the facility.
    • Ask your current cleaning service provider to conduct the audit. 
    • Conduct the audit with two in-house staff people working independently and average their results. 

  • Although you can use your current cleaning service provider, it’s not recommended. Even if you are happy with your current provider, they are less likely to provide an impartial audit, and you miss the benefit of a fresh set of eyes reviewing the cleanliness of the building. 


  • Your project team can receive credit for a non-APPA audit that doesn't follow the exact APPA procedures, but you'll need to demonstrate that the audit was already in place prior to commencing work on your LEED application. Additionally, you must “demonstrate equivalence or superiority to the APPA procedures" in regards to the following key areas in the LEED application materials:

    • a) Area of spaces included in the audit (i.e., must be at least 10% of total area cleaned)
    • b) Diversity of spaces included in the audit (i.e., must include some level of auditing for each type of regularly occupied space in the project building)
    • c) Items assessed (e.g., floors, horizontal surfaces, vertical surfaces, etc.)
    • d) Definition of clean (i.e., for dichotomous rating system that use a pass/fail methodology, pass must at least be equivalent to APPA’s definition of “Casual Inattention”)

  • Alternative audit procedures present a challenge for reviewers in knowing whether they are as stringent as APPA. Teams that use other audit protocols must clearly demonstrate to the reviewer that their approach is valid and equivalent to the APPA protocol.


  • This credit is frequently pursued, because it’s very easy to earn as long as you’re willing to hire an auditor or take the time to conduct the audit yourself.


  • Remember that either in-house staff or an outside auditor will have to take the time to train, conduct the audit, and compile results. You’ll still save money by not hiring an outside auditor to do all of these things.


  • If you'd like to hire a third-party auditor to perform the audit but are having trouble tracking one down, contact cleaning service contractors that offer comprehensive, LEED-compliant, green cleaning programs. These service providers often offer a compliant auditing service. It is always suggested that you hire a contractor with a proven track record for submitting adequate LEED documentation. If your project team chooses a third-party auditor, you must provide a summary of the auditor’s professional credentials and experience. 


  • If the audit is performed by two individuals—either from the project team or associated with the project building—this credit requires either one of the following:

    • Those individuals receive brief instruction in APPA auditing processes, scoring levels, and verbiage. The most important aspect of the training is ensuring that auditors consistently and accurately assess cleanliness. Training can consist of reading through the APPA guidelines, learning the benefits of honest audit results (such as pinpointing opportunities for improvement), and reviewing the forms.
    • Or, your project team integrates a post-audit, quality-control system to ensure accurate and consistent results relative to APPA guidelines. This might consist of a third person reviewing the completed audit findings to ensure that they are appropriate and impartial. Additionally, someone from the project team may want to review some of the audit findings while the audit is conducted to make sure your staff auditors are on the right track. 

  • Someone with cleaning expertise (such as a third-party auditor) is likely to work faster and more accurately than in-house staff.


  • Conducting an in-house audit requires staff time, and the feasibility of this depends on the size of your building. However, there should be no additional cost associated with this option.


  • If you decide to conduct the audit through your current cleaning service provider or a third-party auditor, you are likely to incur costs that increase in proportion to your building's square footage and number of rooms.


  • Determine the appropriate spaces to audit (such as offices, break rooms, and dining areas) and categorize the various spaces according to the APPA space types. If the APPA categories do not match your space, choose the listed category that is most similar. (See Figure 1, page 4, APPA Guidelines.) 


  • You are only required to include space types that are cleaned on a regular basis. If you have storage areas, mechanical rooms, or any other spaces that are not cleaned regularly, you don't need to audit them. Therefore, the total area included in your square footage calculations for required audit space does not have to match the gross square-footage value you provided for other LEED credit submittals. In the provided tracking worksheet, the non-audited space can be entered to ensure that your project remains consistent with your other credit submittals. (See Documentation Toolkit.)  


  • If you have space types in your project building that don’t fall into APPA categories, you can create your own and apply weightings to them. To create a weighting (each space type has elements such as floors, horizontal surfaces, and vertical surfaces that should be prioritized and “weighted” in the audit results), determine which components of the space type you clean most frequently  and determine what percentage of time you spend cleaning each one. The percentage you come up with for each space-type component is the associated weighting. For example:  If you have a medical treatment space in your building, you might determine that you spend: 

    • 35% of the time cleaning the horizontal surfaces 
    • 20% cleaning floors 
    • 20% cleaning the trash containers
    • 15% cleaning and straightening the tables and chairs 
    • 7% cleaning vertical surfaces
    • 3% cleaning lighting and light fixtures. 

    To see how these and other weightings are used to calculate audit scores, see the Medical Treatment Room Audit Form in the APPA Audit Form workbook in the Documentation Toolkit. This template allows and encourages you to set your own weightings for spaces in your building. 


  • Randomly select spaces to be audited, and ensure that each space type is sufficiently represented. APPA requires that you audit a number of rooms equivalent to at least 10% of each space type, and at least 10% of the total floor area of each space type. For any space types with fewer than five rooms, include all five rooms in the audit. (See the APPA Audit Form in the Documentation Toolkit, second tab, “roster of audit spaces” to help you figure out if the rooms you've selected collectively meet the requirements listed above.)  


  • After randomly selecting the spaces to audit, print out the same number of forms as rooms, and fill out a form for each space type. (See instructions in the Documentation Toolkit.) 

During the Performance Period

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  • Conduct your audit using the forms provided in the Documentation Toolkit


  • The following table outlines the levels (1–5) of cleanliness used to rate the components of each room (all taken from the APPA guidelines).


  • The custodial effectiveness audit should be performed during a period of normal business operations (although it need not be performed during business hours), when occupant loads and activities are anticipated to reflect normal levels and patterns. The auditors should not perform their inspection during the day, as custodial staff have no control over things like occupants leaving a mess at lunchtime. It makes more sense to audit relatively soon after the day's (or night's) cleaning is done so that you’re auditing the job done by the service provider rather than the messiness of the occupants. 


  • The audit should not be announced to custodial staff or contractors. This will limit changes in standard practices in anticipation of the evaluation. 


  • APPA estimates that no more than 10 minutes are required to assess any given room. 


  • The audit is meant to help you improve your cleaning program. If you instruct your auditors to give each space a good score, you will not benefit from the honest results that will help you improve the cleanliness of the building. 


  • Average the overall scores of the auditors to come up with a final score for the entire building. The sample size of audited space is in proportion to a space type’s prominence in the building, therefore no further normalizing based on square footage is necessary.


  • Conduct your cleaning audit early enough in the LEED project timeline so that if you score lower than expected, you can work with your provider to improve cleanliness levels and then re-audit. If your appearance level is between 2.1 and 3, you’ll earn one point. If you score a 2 or less, you can earn an additional point for exemplary performance.


  • The audit cannot be performed during times when occupancy is below 50%. If occupancy levels fluctuate during the performance period, be sure to conduct the audit when occupancy is above 50% or the results will not be eligible for this credit.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

    IEQ Credit 3.2: Green cleaning - custodial effectiveness assessment

    1 Point

    Intent




    To reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants, which adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment, by implementing, managing and auditing cleaning procedures and processes.

    Requirements

    Conduct an audit in accordance with APPA Leadership in Educational Facilities’ (APPA) “Custodial Staffing Guidelines” to determine the appearance level of the facility.

    • The facility must score 3 or less.

    More information about the audit procedures is provided in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Designate an individual or team to conduct a walk-through inspection of a sample of rooms in the building to evaluate the effectiveness of the cleaning program. Identify areas that fall below the owner’s expected standard and make improvements to the cleaning program accordingly.

Technical Guides

IEQ Space Matrix - 2nd Edition

This updated version of the spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. Up to date, 2nd Edition.


IEQ Space Matrix - 1st Ed.

This spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated.  This is the 1st edition.

Organizations

APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities

APPA, formerly known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, is an association of more than 5,200 educational facility professionals at some 1,500 international institutions. The association promotes best practices in educational facilities by providing members with access to research, publications, professional development, and credentialing. 

APPA Audit Form

Use this form to figure out which space types you will need to audit, how many rooms you will need to audit, and how much floor area of each type you’ll need to audit. Create and print audit forms for each room and aggregate results for reporting. This spreadsheet contains multiple worksheets — be sure to use the navigation options at the bottom of the window to view them all. The very first worksheet gives instructions for using the rest.

APPA Audit Protocol

This document outlines the processes required for the APPA audit associated with this credit.

LEED Online Forms: LEED-EBOM IEQ

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-2009 IEQ credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

v06 forms (newest):

v04 forms:

v03 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

LEED Online Form

This sample annotated LEED Online form demonstrates how to document IEQc3.2.

64 Comments

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Kara Edmonson
Jul 22 2014
LEEDuser Member

Library and Laboratory Weighting Factors

Can anyone tell me the weighting factors for the Library and Laboratory (without hazardous chemicals) space types? They are not included in the LEED User tools, but are APPA space types, as far as I can tell.

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Victoria Bauer
Apr 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
22 Thumbs Up

Environmental Labs in office building

Hi there,
I am working on LEED certification for an office building that has environmental labs. The janitorial staff are required to clean the corridors, offices and break room within the lab area. However, they are instructed to not clean the lab because the combination of chemicals being handled daily. With that being said, it is fair to exempt all the lab rooms from the audit?
Also, I know storage areas are typically audited, but the lab area also has chemical storage areas, that again cleaning staff are strictly forbidden to clean. Can those storage areas be considered exempt as well?

Thanks for your help.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

It's impossible to say for sure without an official LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org., but if you write a narrative explaining why you excluded them, you should be fine.

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Victoria Bauer Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 22 Thumbs Up

Great, thanks Allison. It looks like the exempted lab areas total to almost 25% of the total floor area. Does LEED have a threshold for exempted areas?

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 2293 Thumbs Up

I would disagree with Allison. Just because the janitors can't clean the rooms does not mean they do not need to be cleaned. My guess is that in this case it would be the job of the lab staff to clean. If the rooms are dirty then either they need more strict managers or more lab assistants. Mechanical rooms typically do not need to be cleaned because they are rarely visited. Labs with regular staff should be clean or they create the health issues the credit is designed to reduce. Of course, a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide is always the sure option.

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Victoria Bauer Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 22 Thumbs Up

Right, I agree. But isn't the intent of this audit to assess the custodial services and the effectiveness of the green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. policy? In which case, they are not responsible by contract to clean the lab rooms or storage areas.

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Apr 02 2014 LEEDuser Member 2293 Thumbs Up

The intent is to reduce the exposure of building occupants... to potentially hazardous chemical ... and particulate contaminants ... by implementing, managing and auditing cleaning procedures and processes.

In this case, the process excludes the custodial staff from cleaning the labs, which means there should be another process for achieving this to assure the credit intent is met.

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Helen Samuel Staff Ernst & Young
Sep 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
152 Thumbs Up

Stairwells in APPA audit? And mechanical rooms?

I am looking for guidance on how to count stairwells in the APPA Custodial audit. We have 3 stairwells, and 10 floors.
Case A: Does each stairwell count as a single "room"? (ie do we have 3 "rooms"?)
OR
Case B: does each staircase on each floor count as its own separate "room"? (ie do we have 30 rooms?).

And just to clarify, in Case A, I would have to audit all 3 "rooms" because it is less than 5. and in Case B, since 10% of 30 is 3, I would have to audit at least 5 "rooms" ... correct?

Second question: would Mechanical rooms, electrical rooms, A/C units and all such MEP space types be classifed under the "utility" space type?

Thank you in advance!

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Sep 23 2013 LEEDuser Member 2293 Thumbs Up

We have always counted each floor as a separate room. When I actually inspect I inspect the landing and then up and down half a floor. As long as you are consistent I don't expect a problem.

Mechanical and electrical rooms do not need to be surveyed. The idea is to survey rooms which are regularly cleaned and commonly accessed. We do survey server rooms - often not the cleanest rooms because cleaning staff are not allowed in and IT staff don't notice dirt (or small pieces of paper.)

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Patricia Andrasik Assistant Professor / Head of Sustainability Outreach The Catholic Universtiy of America
Mar 14 2013
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

LEEDuser Audit Form Custodial Assessment Worksheet

In LEEDuser's APPA audit form Excel worksheet under the General Building Information tab, there is a column labeled "Floor Type." What information about the space goes in this column? I am confused as to what the space's "floor type" is.

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Mar 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1677 Thumbs Up

Hi Patricia,

APPA distinguishes a few space categories by the type of floor in the space. For example, the Office space type is categorized by carpet floor or hard floor. Not all space types are broken out like this however, and Table IEQc3.2-1 on the LEED Credit Form can provide more information on which spaces should be scored separately based on floor type. The idea behind this is that the auditor should give a separate score for these spaces because the different floor types influence the cleaning requirements and potentially the appearance level. By scoring these spaces separately, auditors can better uncover targeted opportunities for improvement.

One thing to note is that APPA doesn't get more specific than carpet floor versus hard floor, so don't worry about categorizing spaces by the specific installed flooring like wood versus tile, etc.

As far as the LEEDuser audit worksheet goes, it can be useful to have a record of the floor type in each space so you can quickly and accurately transfer your APPA scores into the Credit Form.

Thanks,
Trista

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stuart carron
Mar 06 2013
Guest
35 Thumbs Up

Green Cleaning credit achievement rates

Thanks LEEDuser for publishing credit achievement rates - should be very helpful for the industry to address gaps.
I find it curious that the achievement rate for this performance monitoring credit is 73%, while IEc3.1 Green CleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. Program rate is only 57%. Are some project teams actually achieving high cleaning performance scores without implementing a green cleaning program?

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Mar 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1677 Thumbs Up

Hi Stuart,

The APPA audit doesn't take into account any sustainability factors, just the visual appearance level of interior spaces. So its likely that some teams have custodial programs that produce clean buildings, but they're not meeting (or choosing not to pursue) the requirements of a high-performance green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. program per IEQc3.1.

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Melanie Pitre Les services exp
Feb 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
26 Thumbs Up

Training

We are considering to conduct an audit with in-house staff. They have already read the Guidelines, made their own forms according to the guidelines and did some tests.
To be compliant with LEED do we have to follow a specific training? APPA does not seem to offer training about these guidelines, neither the USGBC.

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Feb 13 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1677 Thumbs Up

Hi Melanie,

It sounds like you're on the right track. You're not required to take a formal training course offered by a third party. Check out the last FAQ above for more info.

Best,
Trista

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Mary Ann Santos
Dec 12 2012
LEEDuser Member
2288 Thumbs Up

no. of auditors

Should the audit be strictly performed by only two (2) individuals then average their scores? Or it can be three or more?

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Dec 13 2012 LEEDuser Member 2293 Thumbs Up

The reference manual says 2. That said, there are potential benefits to using additional auditors. If the auditors are from the project team, then having an additional auditor (or two) would fulfill the requirement for a "postaudit quality control process to assure accurate results."
Of course if you are close to the line your results could be affected by your choice of auditors to use which would create something of a moral quandary...

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Patrick Culhane Sustainability Officer Canderel
Sep 18 2012
Guest
234 Thumbs Up

Loading Dock?

We are undertaking the space inventory in advance of our audit. The building is a +/- 1,000,000 sf office tower. I'm wondering if the audit needs to include the loading dock area. This area is cleaned by our in-house dockmaster and not by the cleaning company hired to clean the rest of the building.

Thanks,

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 23 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Patrick, that space should definitely be included. Who knows what kind of waste moves through there, and what diversion or reduction opportunities there might be? An audit will tell you.

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Minh Le Building specialist Intel Product Vietnam
Jul 23 2012
Guest
10 Thumbs Up

APPA custodial audit

How to calculate the average score for space type ?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Sep 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Once you have established a raw score for each space (out of 100 based on APPA weightings) within a space type, you simply add all the raw scores for the spaces within a space type together and divide by the number of spaces you added together to get the average.

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Andy Rhoades Partner Leading Edge Consulting
Jul 11 2012
LEEDuser Member
523 Thumbs Up

Building with a Machine Shop

I am working on a building that includes a machine shop on the first floor that accounts for more than 10% of the total building area. Does the shop need to be included in the APPA audit?

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Jenny Carney Principal, YR&G Aug 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8013 Thumbs Up

Andy, in my experience shops areas like this oftentimes aren't regularly cleaned in the same way as office portions of the building, which would mean they do need to be included. Is this space regularly cleaned?

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Andy Rhoades Partner, Leading Edge Consulting Aug 10 2012 LEEDuser Member 523 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Jenny. The shop is not regularly cleaned by the janitorial staff that cleans the rest of the building but is cleaned by the people that work in the shop. We went ahead and included the shop in the audit to make sure we had all of our bases covered.

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Alexis Thompson Building Scientist Chelsea Group, Ltd.
Feb 01 2012
Guest
409 Thumbs Up

Auditors & Consistency

Hello LEEDUser! I am working on a rather large building in NYC (2 million SF). They want to conduct an audit for IEQc3.2 but we are concerned about consistency. Here's why: 1) the building is too large to conduct a full audit in a timely manner with 2 people. Even starting first thing in the morning before occupants come to the building, we are still going to be auditing well into the evening hours which means that the spaces we get to later will be less clean because they will have been occupied all day. We may not even be able to complete the audit in under a day, which runs into more consistency issues. 2) we are considering using 2 teams of 2 auditors (4 people total) to get the job done faster to avoid this, BUT then we run into consistency issues with how the auditors are scoring and the fact that each team will only see half of the audited spaces. 2 teams will get the job done faster and all 4 people will receive the same APPA training. Is this an acceptable method? Has anyone ever conducted the audit like this? It seems like no matter what we do we are compromising the consistency of the audit. What do you recommend? Thank you!!

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Feb 21 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Alexis- do you still feel the building is too big even auditing only 10 of the spaces as allowed by APPA?

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Alexis Thompson Building Scientist, Chelsea Group, Ltd. Feb 22 2012 Guest 409 Thumbs Up

Yes, we are concernced about the size and consistency of the audit. We are definitely only going to audit 10% of the building but still...10% of 2mil is 200,000 SF!! I've done these audits myself in the past, and the most I've ever audited is 60,000SF and that took apprx 6 hours. Even with that size we were moving slightly faster than the APPA recommended 10 min per space. With 200,000 SF of space it would take about 20 hours to complete the audit with a single team moving at this pace (which is why we are proposing the 2 team approach). We are at odds here because if we move any faster than 10,000 SF an hour, we risk the integrity/thoroughness of the audit; if we move at 10,00SF an hour it will take a single team 2 10-hour days or 3 7-hour days to complete it; and if we use a 2 team approach then we risk consistency with scoring. Ideas? Thank you!!

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Alice Cook
Dec 27 2011
LEEDuser Member
600 Thumbs Up

Pursuing EQ3.2 but not EQ3?

We have a building that is not pursuing EQ3.1 because they're having trouble getting some tenants who use their own cleaning contractor on board with the building's approach. Is it still possible to achieve EQ3.2 ? As part of the cleaning audit, they still plan to audit tenant spaces, however some of these spaces (over 10%) are cleaned by a separate contractor who is not necessarily adhering perfectly to their green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. policy. Thank you for any guidance!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 27 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

IEQc3.1 is not a prerequisite for iEQc3.2. FYI, if it were, it would be stated in the credit language (see tab above).

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Jenny Carney Principal, YR&G Feb 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8013 Thumbs Up

I agree with Tristan, though if over 10% of the area is cleaned by a separate entity and they are not participating in the audit or responding to the audit results, I'm not sure it's legitimate to pursue the credit per its intent. Is the tenant contractor willing to participate to the extent that they will take into consideration / respond to any issues uncovered in the audit of the spaces they clean?

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Samantha Longshore Sustainability Advisor Transwestern
Dec 20 2011
LEEDuser Member
429 Thumbs Up

Independent/ Special Spaces in audit

I recently received a clarification asking if all spaces within the building had been included in the audit, such as the restaurant, fitness center, and preschool space. In the past the audit has covered conference rooms, lobbies/entries, offices, corridors/ stairwells, storage, and washrooms. If a building has spaces such as the three mentioned above that do not perfectly match these descriptions, must they be audited as well, as their own category? I know you can exclude them, but if I did not want to go that route would they still have to be audited simply because they are different from the rest of the building? Thanks

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Jenny Carney Principal, YR&G Feb 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8013 Thumbs Up

My understanding that you should include all regularly cleaned spaces in the audit, except in the case of areas under separate management and are no more than 10% of the floor area. Even if there is not a predefined APPA category, you can still evaluate the space according to the protocol set forth in APPA.

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Samantha Longshore Sustainability Advisor, Transwestern Mar 14 2013 LEEDuser Member 429 Thumbs Up

I'm in a similar situation. I'm wondering what category to qualify a very large (almost entire first floor) data center under. Our thoughts are office or storage. Have their been any additional APPA guidelines created to fit unique spaces or are they just supposed to be audited using the criteria of the existing category that most closely resembles it? I've tried navigating the website for information on how to audit unique spaces, but come away empty handed.

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Mar 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 2293 Thumbs Up

AS APPA was designed for educational facilities there are many space types that are not covered. You can designate your own space types in performing the audit if none of the defined spaces appear to be relevant.

As long as the criteria that you use to judge the cleanliness of the space make sense then you are actually improving the results. Of course, now you have to think about what a clean data center looks like...

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory Colliers International
Dec 05 2011
LEEDuser Member
2293 Thumbs Up

Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities: Custodial

It appears that the guidelines references in the LEED 2009 manual have now been revised and are no longer available. Does anyone have any experience with the new updated (with revised title above?). I would rather avoid spending $110 on the wrong book!

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Jenny Carney Principal, YR&G Feb 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8013 Thumbs Up

Michael, I'm not familiar with the updated guidelines, but I suspect that there are enough tools on this site and info in the Reference Guide to successfully perform the audit per the old guidelines without purchasing the guide.

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Amanda Johnson Penicaud Green Building Oct 05 2012 Guest 177 Thumbs Up

I have the same question as Michael : the Guidelines required for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. IEQ3.2 (APPA Custodial guidelines edition 2) are no longer available. In our case we don't have any of the guidelines. Should we buy the new edition though it isn't cited in the requirements?
We are intending to train 2 inhouse staff members to conduct an in-house audit, and the project will be an international LEED certification (so we will have to translate the documents)
Is there a digest of the edition 2 guidelines that we could use? I see below that Tristan suggests looking at the documentation toolkit which we will do, but any advice would be helpful.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Oct 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Amanda- I do not have the third edition, but I just compared the table of contents of the third edition to the second edition that I have and they are VERY similar. I can't say for sure since I don't have the third edition, but if you don'r feel that the documentation toolkit gives you enough information I suspect that the third edition would work.

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Asa Posner Senior Sustainability Consultant Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
Oct 18 2011
LEEDuser Member
951 Thumbs Up

LEED Reviewer in disbelief

I'd like to share a recent reviewer comment. If we had not already achieved more than 60 points, I would have appealed this ruling, but it's not worth my time at this point.
"For future submittals, ensure that for any space types where 10% consists of fewer than five rooms, the required numberof rooms are audited."
This comment is not specific enough to sufficently document compliance in an appeal. It is the same comment from the prelim review, which we corrected by auditing additional spaces (example - all staircases, both elevators, and all restrooms). I am confused by what else could be missing. There are more than 5 workstations and conference rooms and we audited 10% of each. I think part of the problem is that the APPA space types do not match the space type inputs in PIF3, nor do they auto-fill. So for future projects, we are using the APPA space type as the starting point for defining regularly occupied space types for PIF3--this semes backwards for me.

Is there a more appropriate venue to make these comments on LEED forms? (besides feedback form on LO)

Lastly, beware of ranking your janitorial staff to high, we also got this comment, "It appears that each space received an average score of 1, which is atypical for a building with numerous spacetypes and for a building of this size. ... Please provide a clarification narrativedescribing the methods used to audit each space and confirming that each space type was assigned an accurate cleanliness score. Ensure that thenarrative confirms that the audit was conducted in accordance with APPA Custodial Staffing Guidelines to determine the appearance level of the facility."

I was offended by this comment. Our property manager pays a premium for premiumn cleaning services. I believe this credit has fundamental flaws in the documentation requirements.

Would it have been quesitoned if we used the leed user worksheet?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Nov 15 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Alyson- did they actually deny the credit? Or just provide you with "helpful" advice for next time? I agree that the form for this one is frustrating. I do tend to use and submit a separate worksheet (whether is is LEEDuser's or a different one) to try to show exactly what we did.

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Jenny Carney Principal, YR&G Feb 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8013 Thumbs Up

Alyson, I'm not totally sure, but I think what they maybe have been communicating is that in cases when the number of rooms is greater than 5, but 10% of the number of rooms is less than 5, you must audit at least 5 rooms. For example, if you have 10 rooms, 10% is only 1, but to meet the rules in the RG you must audit 5. If you have fewer than 5 rooms, you have to audit the total number of rooms that exist.

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bayard fenwick
Aug 04 2011
Guest
69 Thumbs Up

IEQc3.2 APPA audit compliance using ISO 90001

Our client follows ISO 90001 audit guidelines (and has for years). The site team does an internal audit once a month, and conducts an ISO 90001 audit once a year. Can we submit our ISO audit information in lieu of an APPA audit?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Nov 15 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

You could attempt to submit the ISO 90001 audits as an alternate compliance path, but I don't believe that it would be accepted since the credit very specifically requires an APPA audit. I haven't tried this alternate compliance path for this credit, but have had other similar alternate compliance approach turned down.

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Gerrit-Jan Teunissen consultant, TRAJECT Apr 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 243 Thumbs Up

Hi Bayard,
Did you submit your alternate approach, and how is it accepted by the reviewer? I have also a alternative situation, with respect of the 10%/10% area/space type requirement, with the level equal to level 2 but with a statistical "# of accepted failures" before denial..

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Paola Figueiredo, Newton Figueiredo SustentaX
Jul 12 2011
Guest
975 Thumbs Up

Are garage areas counted?

To whom it may concern,
I have a question that I did not find a solution to in the LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Reference Guide or in the credit-by-credit forum on this website.
In the audit that will be made in the building, do I have to consider the garage areas? In the site plan there is a parking garage.

Thanks.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Nov 15 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

We have never audited garage spaces and been fine. That's never a 100% guarantee that they won't start requiring them in the future, but you should be OK not doing the garage.

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Xun Jia Senior Sustainability Design Specialist Syska Hennessay Group
Feb 23 2011
Guest
187 Thumbs Up

Tenant vacancy

Do spaces that are not regularly cleaned such as mechanical rooms and tenant storage rooms need to be counted as the 10% exempted? We have one tenant with their own custodial service declining to participate. When you add them to the areas I noted, the total is over 10%.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Mar 12 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Mechanical rooms do not need to be audited, but storage rooms typically do. You may take a little bit of a hit on your average appearance levels by including storage rooms as required if they are not regularly cleaned, but it may not be enough to negatively impact your changes on this credit.

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Katie Anthony
Feb 16 2011
Guest
165 Thumbs Up

Space Use Category for Open Workstations

I am working with a client to identify which spaces in their building to audit and am curious if anyone has handled open workstations (i.e. cubes) differently than closed offices? What I would like to do is treat closed offices as one space category and open workstations as another space category. For open area workspaces, we would break the area into quadrants per floor. We would have the auditor(s) review at least 10% of the quadrants (by both area and number).

As an example, a floor has ten open areas with approximately 300 cubes on the floor (30 cubes/area). We would randomly select one of these areas and evaluate the cleanliness of the floors, horizontal & vertical services, lighting fixtures, and trash containers in that area. On the next floor, we would select an area on a different part of the floor to evaluate.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Feb 16 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Katie- in the past I have always differentiated between open office and private office spaces, making sure that I audit at least 10% of each type. Your quadrant system sounds fine to me, you can also simplify even further by simply ensuring that you audit at least 10% of the open office space area.

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Chris Munn Director, National Operations Chelsea Group, Ltd.
Jan 05 2011
LEEDuser Member
1561 Thumbs Up

Clarification on total space that needs to be audited

Can someone please clarify the following points as the LEED forms seem to very confusing on the appropriate space to audit?

If there are less than five total spaces for a space type, you need to audit all spaces. Otherwise, you need to audit 10% of the total floor area of that space type.

Or,

Do you audit all rooms if there is less than 5, and if 10% of the rooms equate to less than 5, then you must audit at least 5 rooms?

Also,

If there are more than 5 spaces, then do you simply have to audit 10% of the total floor area, and 10% of the floor area for each space type, or do you also have to audit 10% of the total number of rooms for each space type?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Jan 06 2011 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

If there are less than 5 spaces of any type, you must audit all spaces of that type. If there are more than 5 of any type of space you should audit 10% of the spaces or 5 spaces, whichever is larger.

If more than 5 spaces, audit 10% of the number of spaces. If your randomly selected 10% of the spaces do not equal at least 10% of the total area of that space type, add additional spaces until you also reach 10% of the area of that type.

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Peter Bruck Nov 20 2013 Guest 6 Thumbs Up

While I realize that the table 9 on page 436 takes the approach that has been suggested above, the text on page 435 states something very different. STEP 2 states, " APPA requires that rooms equivalent to at least 10% of each space type AND 10% of total floor area cleaned by audited. For any space type with fewer than 5 rooms, include all 5 rooms in the audit." 1) it doesn't say for any space type where 10% is fewer than 5 rooms as the table and your advice states. 2) To suggest that the standard is where 10% is less than 5 then that would require auditing of all spaces where there are up to 50 spaces - this seems unreasonable especially if the SF is well above 10% of the total. 3) I realize that the LOL table is set up to calculate 10% of the number of spaces, as well as 10% of the total space category and 10% of the total cleaned SF so it is not helpful in guiding you to the correct pathway. The interpretation of whether 10% being less than 5 as the metric is not reasonable and contradicts the actual text in the RG.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Peter- it's not where 10% is less than 5 that you have to do all of the spaces, it's where there are less than 5 spaces total. If, as in your example, there are 50 spaces, simply audit 5 spaces. If there are 40 spaces, you would still audit 5, because 5 is larger than 4, which is 10%.

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Terry Gorski Building Scientist Chelsea Group, Ltd.
Dec 09 2010
LEEDuser Member
530 Thumbs Up

Tenant Spaces with Separate Cleaning Company

If some tenants in a multi-tenant office building prefer to use their own cleaning service rather than the one the management uses on the rest of the building, can those spaces be excluded from the audit? If so, do they need to account for less than 10% of the total gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. of the building? Or, if those tenants will allow it, can their spaces be included in the audit, and counted, even though they are not under the control of the management?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Dec 09 2010 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

You should go ahead and include all of the spaces in the audit even if they are not under the control of the management. You may be able to exclude up to 10% (if you are not trying to exclude a different 10% for other credits), but the better solution is to go ahead and include the spaces.

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Brian Cerra President eco evolutions
Oct 20 2010
LEEDuser Member
40 Thumbs Up

Audit Form for Classroom

We are preparing a LEED EB certification for a school and need an audit form for classroom areas. Is there one available for free or do we need to purchase the APPA Guidelines to get the audit forms for classrooms?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Oct 22 2010 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Brian- there may be some free forms floating around on the internet. I have also found that many janitorial companies have all of the forms and are willing to share. I would recommend purchasing the guide, though, if you think you may be doing more of these audits in the future.

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Lee Burns Dir of Engineering Bentall Kennedy
Aug 09 2010
Guest
121 Thumbs Up

EBOM 2009 IEQc3.2 Room types and square footage

I have about one million square feet of commercial office space that obviously includes mail rooms, entries, break rooms, small conference rooms, rest rooms, elevators, etc. Do I really need to measure each and every space to figure out total sq ft of each type? This could take weeks! Since it's all cleaned by the same crew can't I just do 10% of the total "Office" space?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Aug 10 2010 LEEDuser Expert 6274 Thumbs Up

Lee- In order to be in total compliance with the APPA guidelines, you would have to total up your actual square footage of each space type and then audit 10% (or at least five rooms) of each type, so 10% of breakrooms, 10% of copy areas, 10% of private office, 10% of conference rooms, etc. There may be some latitude in estimating the total square footage of spaces of each type, but lumping everything together as "office" will definitely not fly.

From doing the audit in the past, I can also tell you that cleaning crews do put more or less effort into certain types of spaces and have specific issues associated with certain types of areas (i.e. sticky floors in break rooms, dirty blinds in conference rooms or burnt out lights in restrooms). Consequently, part of the value of the information derived from the audit has to do with dividing the spaces into types.

If this credit is more labor intensive for your building type than you would like, there are always other credits you can pursue instead!

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Brian Sutton pres eCaerus sustainable solutions
May 27 2010
Guest
157 Thumbs Up

APPA room types

Anyone know where I can find the weighting factors for hotel guest rooms?

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Shira Norman YRG sustainability May 28 2010 LEEDuser Member 643 Thumbs Up

Brian,

It's unlikely the weighting factors for hotel guest rooms are available in the APPA Guidelines as they were written for use in schools. Because APPA does not designate weighting factors for many room types in office buildings, hotels, convention facilities, etc., you're allowed to create your own factors. You can learn how to do this in the “Before the Performance Period” section on the “Checklists” tab.

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Rachael McClain
May 24 2010
Guest
1348 Thumbs Up

APPA Custodial Staffing Guidelines

I was wondering if it was necessary to purchase the Custodial Staffing Guidelines handbook or are the guidelines provided in the LEED reference guide and through LEEDuser enough to conduct the audit properly?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 24 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

You certainly aren't required to purchase the APPA guidelines, and the LEED Reference Guide and the information provided above in LEEDuser, including the protocol in the Documentation Toolkit, may be enough.

However, you'd have to decide this for your project based on your team's comfort level and expertise.

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